Panch Pran, vital energies and your Health

Ayurved is the intelligent energy of vitality. The concept of Panch-praan, the five types of vital energy, is one of the fundamental principles of Ayurved. The other being the Tri-dosh (Vaat, Kapha, Pitta) balance. The five important movements in the body are called the Panch-praan. These movements are called Praan, Apaan, Samaan, Vyaan and Udaan. These are intelligent energies of movement which run the body/mind. Here is how these work, logically.pancha prana the five vital energies.pngPraan – You take in food, water, breathe-in, sensory inputs from your sense organs etc. Anything that you take in is with the intelligence of Praan. ‘Intake’ is Pran. It moves inwards and downwards from the top of the head till the navel. Praan protects the mind/body in all ways, it is a smooth flowing vayu, no turbulence. The deity ruling over Praan is called Vishishtha. Praan is linked to the Aakash tattva (ether).

If praan gets imbalanced, you will suffer from unexplained anxiety, worry, anger, shortness of breath, breathing related illnesses like asthama, heart and lung related problems, fears, a general dullness of the mind/body. You can try doing some of these things to help balance Praan vayu.

  • Mindful breathing exercises, pranayam
  • Retain the breath (kumbhak) for a few seconds mindfully after you inhale.
  • Visualise golden/silvery energy entering your body as you inhale
  • Take a vacation in high pran areas like hills, seashore, forests especially pine forests, wide open spaces with less human habitations, be with nature away from the pran depleted cities.
  • Keep an open mind and accept new impressions, learn new skills, read a new book!
  • Spiritual practice

Samaan – You then convert these things, you digest the food, you process the sensory inputs to gain information. These actions of ‘conversion’ are carried out by the intelligence called Samaan. This is concentrated around your navel area and moves in a continuous powerful turbulent spiral. Samaan brings things together, it is in a way, contraction, focus and interconnection. It creates new cells and tissues to replace the ones which have been damaged or dead. Its ruling intelligence/deity is called Jaya. Pruthvi tattva (solidity) is linked to Samaan.

If Samaan is out of balance, you will suffer from digestion related problems, metabolism will be affected, bloating, appetite related issues. Mind will be unable to think clearly, foggy mental processes, lack of concentration etc. To get it back into balance you can try,

  • Perform the Kumbhak after you exhale, i.e. maintain the lungs in their empty position for a few seconds before inhaling again.
  • Exercises which strengthen the abdominal muscles, simple exercises.
  • ‘Energy goes where the attention goes’, so focus on your navel and the abdomen, doing a self-massage on your stomach is also a good option.
  • Putting coconut oil in your navel, just a few drops as you go to bed at night.
  • Eat nutritious food, avoid junk food and practice fasting, maybe once a week/fortnight?
  • Spiritual practice, especially something as simple as Tratak which is simply focussing.
  • Breathing exercises, pranayam.

Vyaan – After this you absorb the nutrition, you understand the information, this ‘absorption’ is the work of the Vyaan vayu. This is mainly concentrated in the upper chest areas but moves throughout the body/mind for its ‘distributing’ function. It moves outwards from the chest area in pulsating movements. This is in a way ‘expansion’, moving outwards. Vyaan keeps the naadi system functional and governs the movement of vital energy in all these energy channels. The intelligence called Vishvayoni rules over Vyaan. Agni tattva (heat) is linked to Vyaan.

Imbalance of Vyaan will cause ‘blockages’, so medical conditions like, poor circulation, varicose veins, cardiac arrest, blocked arteries, water retention, blood pressure, nervous complaints, anaemia, etc. Some of the things you can do to balance the Vyaan vayu are

  • Doing Suryanamaskar is the best option, do one set a day to being with, increase one set every week if you can (maximum is 108 sets) or any of the more vigorous yogasan/yogic postures. This will help circulation of the blood, lymph and the vital energy in their respective channels in the body.
  • If your health does not permit you to do these yogasan do simple warm-up type of exercises at least.
  • Do things which give you joy, you ‘open up’ in your happiness.
  • Breathing exercises, pranayam.
  • Spiritual practice

Apaan – You then give out undigested food, urine, breathe-out, remove the things that you dont need. This ‘elimination’ is through the intelligent energy called Apaan. This energy moves downwards from your navel and out and is concentrated in your lower abdominal area. It is responsible for removal of toxins, cancerous cells, negative energies and influences on the body/mind and all possible wastes created in the body/mind. Its ruling intelligence/deity is called Vishvakarma. Apaan is linked to the Vayu tattva (movement).

If Apaan gets out of balance, the reproductive health, kidney and excretory system, intestinal health and functions of these lower pelvic area organs will be affected. Apaan is related to disease, ageing and its imbalance tends to lower the level of consciousness, it is a turbulent vayu. A simple example, too much Apaan will result in dysentry and too little Apaan will cause constipation!

  • Perform the Kumbhak after you exhale, i.e. maintain the lungs in their empty position for a few seconds before inhaling again.
  • Do pranayam, breathing exercises.
  • Eat nourishing and proper food, avoid junk and processed food.
  • Do the Moola bandha, i.e. the Kegel exercise, where you exercise the muscles of the lower pelvic region.
  • Mentally release whatever has been holding you back, mindsets, emotions, thoughts, anything, in a gentle way.
  • Do not over-indulge in sexual activity. Too frequent and it will cause imbalances as it tends to drain the vital energy downwards and outwards.
  • Spiritual practice

Udaan – And finally you grow both in mind and body as you assimilate the information and the nutrition. This is the function of the Udaan vayu, this moves upwards throughout your body/mind. It regulates growth in all possible ways. e.g your body should grow as much it is supposed not keep on growing1 This is the intelligence of Udaan.

If the other four vayus are functioning properly Udaan automatically works as it is supposed to. However if there are imbalances here they will result in retarded or too much growth, dull mind, lack of creativity, no focus, no desire, no goals in life etc. Pranayam and spiritual practice, Dhyan, Mantra, Yantra, Tantra, Jaap, Tratak or any of the simpler regular mindfulness exercises and the re-balancing techniques of the other Vayus will help in re-balancing Udaan. Its ruling intelligence/deity is called Aja. Udaan is linked to the Jal tattva (fluidity). pancha prana the five vital energies.jpgNow these 5 types of praan are derived from the Mukhya-praan/main vital energy of Om. The Hindu/Sanatan dharm deity named ‘Maruti’ is a representation of these Panch-pran. He is often depicted with one single peaceful face but then often with 5 faces, each of a different color. The central face is peaceful and the remaining 4 are terrible, with fierce expressions. The central face represents Praan, the peaceful smooth flowing Vayu and the other four Vayu are really very turbulent, fierce and can be quite scary to look at/experience individually.

If you really wish to ‘see’ these vayu within you, here is a rather simple way, on any Saturday evening, recite any Maruti stotra/mantra of your choice in any language you want. Face east or north and sit on your asan. If it a Sanskrit mantra it needs to be recited 108 times and if it a longer stotra you should recite it 27 times at least, to entrain the mind. As always focus in your third eye, You will see the Panch-Praan roaring through your mind/body in their full majesty.

These 5 pran are the important ones of these the Pran and the Apan are the most important. (There are five more, Naag, Kurma, Krikara, Devdutt and Dhananjai, these are subtle ones.)

In addition to this classification of the vital energies there is another classification of sub-energies/Marut/upa-vayu. These are 7 types of 7 vital sub-energies thus a total of 49 classes. These sub-energies are linked to the tiniest of movements of your body from sneezing, to blinking, yawning etc.

For a spiritual aspirant, the equilibrium between the Praan and Apaan is vital. Praan is the upward moving energy which increases consciousness and dissociates from the bindings of the mortal shell. Apaan is the downward moving energy which binds more strongly to the body/mind and lowers the consciousness. If there is a perfect balance of these two you will realize the Ultimate, experience Moksh. So all the spiritual exercises finally culminate in Dhyan where we mindfully use the power of Om (mukhya-praan, the Ultimate vital energy) to balance these two, Praan and Apaan, within our Brahmanadi, the thinnest and subtlest energy channel of our energy body.

 

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Rahu Mahadasha

If your birth moon Nakshatra/Lunar mansion is Mruga or Chitra or  Dhanishtha then you will have your Rahu mahadasha going on at your birth. The balance of the planet’s dasha period remaining at birth is calculated using the location (degree/minute/second) of Moon in his nakshatra at birth. If you get this birth time wrong your starting point will be wrong thus your entire life-time’s calculation will go wrong. Rahu’s mahadasha is a long period and goes on for 18yrs, a lot of things can occur in 18yrs!

And then, Rahu’s mahadasha and his sub-periods in the other planets Mahadashas do occur at any point of life. Check out which Mahadasha/Antardasha you are on using any Vedic astrology software. Vimshottari dasha, is the most popular dasha system used for timing events and is quite accurate too, beginners should start with this to get an idea of how planets interact to create an event. So to analyse Rahu Mahadasha, follow these steps, take your time over it.interpreting rahu mahadasha.jpegStep 1 is to know the aspects of life Rahu represents and the power he has to deliver his results. This is the basic minimum. You should know what he is going to give you, then predicting the timing will make sense!

  1. Rahu in your birth chart (divisional chart 1/D-1).
    • He is placed in which house and in which sign? Thus which parts of your life is he controlling?
    • The ruler of this sign, is he a friend/neutral/enemy planet for Rahu? How is this planet placed? Is he strong/weak etc, as Rahu will take on his powers and ability to give results.
    • Is Rahu exalted/debilitated?
    • Which planets is he conjoint/aspected by? Thus which other aspects of the personality is he influencing directly and indirectly.
    • Has he matured?
    • Which lunar mansion/nakshatra is he placed in? He will be influenced by the ruler of this nakshatra and its characteristics too.
    • And finally is there any planet placed in Nakshatra owned by Rahu? He can be influenced by these too!
  2. Repeat this same analysis from the birth Moon sign, to know how you will ‘feel’ in Rahu’s Mahadasha. Your emotional levels and mental comfort is seen from the birth Moon. These aspects of life can be completely different from what is happening on the physical level.
    • E.g. If Rahu is placed in your 11th house from the ascendant, then he will give gains of every sort on the physical levels. But if he is placed 6th from the birth Moon, you will not find emotional fulfilment in those gains, emotionally/mentally you will be in turmoil.
  3. And this same analysis using the divisional chart 9, Navamsha chart will give a perspective on the sub-conscious expectations and the sum total of Rahu’s potential. The subconscious desire, suppressed within your astral self, which will erupt now. (Do this part whenever you feel more confident, else might end up confusing yourself)

Step 2  Smaller sub-periods within the main period/Mahadasha are called successively Antar-dasha, Pratyantar-dasha, Sookshma-dasha and Pran-dasha. The logic on how to analyse these even smaller units of time remains the same for each planetary owner of the sub/sub periods.

  1. Find out the power of the sub-period/antardasha planetary lord and the aspects of your life that he controls just like you did for Rahu above.
  2. Then analyse the relationship between Rahu and the sub-period owner planet. Are they friends, enemies or neutral? How are they placed in the chart? e.g. If they are in the 6/8 or 2/12 uncomfortable aspects, then that sub-lord’s sub-period will not be comfortable, unless the other planet is very strong.

Step 3 is the routine planetary transits/gochar. These can modify results to some extent. So draw your birth chart on a paper and superimpose the current planetary positions on it. Use a different pen so that you can make sense of the composite chart you are drawing.interpreting rahu mahadashaRahu is the desires that you have, things that pull your soul. Rahu is perpetually in retrograde motion so his lessons are repetitive and always on the inner psychological levls. In Rahu’s periods expect situations which will test you on the mind/body levels. You may achieve a lot of things but there will always be unexpected things/reversals/gains which will keep you on your toes. He desires privileges, social recognition, ambitions and entry into the elite. Rahu can obscure divine intelligence and basic common sense, so you are carried away with a desire to possess. Things of glamour, thrills, opportunities, secrets, scandals, unusual, foreign, risks, fascinations, surprises will enter your life. You might cheat and use non conventional means to achieve your desires. Rahu is not straightforward. If Rahu in your chart is strongly placed these results last beyond his periods else as his Mahadasha ends these gains can also be taken away.

Rahu takes on the characteristics of the planets he is associated with, so you will need to pay special attention to these influences on him. Most importantly the karakatva of the sub-period/antardasha ruler planet is extremely important. Rahu will amplify all that this planet stands for (karakatva) in your horoscope. If the lord of the sub-period is benefic or poised to give good results in your chart, this Rahu Mahadasha can bring them as Rahu will amplify. e.g. Marriage is also possible in this period as desires and passions are on a high. If the sub-period planet is associated with partnerships and/or romances then love affairs/marriages can occur.

Then Rahu’s periods can also cause physical death, he is quite capable of bringing physical death by himself. Especially so if he occupies the 2nd or 7th house. Or if his sign owner is an Marak, owner of the 2nd or 7th house. Or his sign ruler is placed in the 2nd or 7th house. Or if the sub-period owner is the Marak (but predicting physical death requires in-depth analysis, so don’t scare yourself).interpreting rahu mahadashaNow to analyse the sub-periods of Rahu’s main period/mahadasha. This is just a starting point for you to base your own analysis on.

  1. Rahu antardasha
    • This period continues from the Mars Mahadasha and compared to the physical movement and single pointed conquest of Mars, your horizons suddenly seem to widen. Desires increase, but it is a diffuse desire that you feel for several objects at once. These desires will depend on Rahu’s karakatva which you have analysed above.
    • This period can disorienting, Mars and Rahu are both passionate planets so actively bring about things. Changing from one to the other will not be a smooth transition, at least the first 6mths will be full of rapid change.
    • Rahu-Rahu results will be as per Rahu’s nature in your chart which you have evaluated above. This is pure Rahu giving whatever he is capable of giving in your chart.
    • You might have to face misunderstandings, rebellions, upheavals, extremes of passions, obsessions, entry of foreign elements. Try to keep an intellectual rein on yourself during this period, do not over-step limits.
  2. Jupiter antardasha
    • Jupiter generally allows Rahu full permission to express himself. You will get all the opportunities to follow your desires. There will be few restrictions, the environment is gentle, generous, benevolent, cheerful and you tend to be successful in your endeavours.
    • You might be required to perform some guidance or elder type of roles depending on the mutual relationship between Rahu and Jupiter in your chart. You might gain students/children or a new teacher/higher education. You might also gain insights into the occult if your chart permits.
    • Do not get carried away in this period, use your wisdom to rein in Rahu’s more wild antics because karma is judging.
  3. Saturn antardasha
    • Now the restrictions and rules begin, also the repercussions of the permissive Rahu-Rahu and Rahu-Jupiter sub-periods. It can be severely disappointing period with physical/emotional etc stresses often illnesses, as the physical frame of the body is under stress.
    • This a difficult period as Saturn restricts Rahu’s desires and allows just the legally permissible stuff to happen. Karma. So here try to accommodate and accept whatever is coming at you. Try to remain neutral to events unfolding around you. Shani is completely materialistic, so there might be restrictions on your personality/environment and also on your spiritual growth. Conversely if Shani and Rahu are mutually well placed you can actually benefit and gain material pleasures.
    • Evaluate Saturn’s karakatva, potential to give results minutely before coming to a conclusion about this Rahu-Saturn sub-period. If he is connected to the 6th especially be prepared (and to some extent the 3rd, 8th and 12th). Both Rahu and Shani are airy planets, fierce and related to Karma. In all cases, be careful.
  4. Mercury antardasha –
    • Rahu and Mercury are normally friends, so material benefits can be available. Depending on the karakatva of Mercury you can gain money, fame, courage, defeat your enemies, stay healthy and out of debt, act decisively and resolve karma.
    • However generally this period will be quite dynamic, you will be at the center of your group, your contributions will be recognised both in the office and family, and you might get a promotion too. You might learn new skills, make new contacts.
    • But if your impressionable adolescent Mercury is not strong enough to resist Rahu’s enticements, he can also grant addictions and psychiatric problems.
    • Interpreting rahu mahadasha
  5. Ketu antardasha –
    • There will be minimum free will and scope to actively change things. The Karmic axis will operate as per its own cryptic mechanisms. Try to remain calm and engage in some spiritual activity to maintain yourself.
    • There may be occult, paranormal experiences, or even people behaving in strange ways, situations may not pan put as normally expected.
    • Loss of control over self is possible so try to use your intellect to control yourself and your activities/behaviour at least.
    • This period will be full of activity, either on the physical, mental, emotional or astral planes as karmic rebalance is accelerated. If either of these are connected to Marak functions, physical death can occur.
    • There may be gains as per their karakatva but the underlying theme of distress will exist.
  6. Venus antardasha –
    • Venus and Rahu are generally on good terms so can grant material pleasures, with the family, children, wife and money.
    • If your Venus is spiritually inclined he can grant progress in your spiritual practice, tantra and the occult.
    • Rahu’s periods are intense and obsessive, and Venus has the habit of putting his seekers to the tests of the ‘material pleasures’. So try to maintain a larger perspective. Before you commit yourself to any relationship think twice. Marriages often occur in Rahu’s periods but after his influence stops, these often seem to be mistakes.
  7. Sun antardasha –
    • Here finally intelligence has the chance to pair up with desire. You should make the most of this period to rationally advance only those desires which are legitimate and have a possibility of giving lasting gains.
    • You might get opportunities for higher education, stage performances, creative outlets, use them intelligently.
    • But if you have let your Rahu loose in the previous sub-periods you might find your self regretting and also losing those unlawful gains.
  8. Moon antardasha –
    • Moon is related to nurture, nourishment and security. So during his sub-period he can grant socially prominent positions related to parenting, army/police, schools, promotions, responsibilities, housing, farming, animal husbandry etc.
    • All these desires linked to Moon’s keywords will be amplified, emotional relationships, care-giving, a fulfilling routine, staying closer to loved ones, astral experiences, occult.
    • If you can access your spiritual self during this period and work with your astral expectations and desires, there is a good chance that you might create something solid and gainful for yourself.
  9. Mars antardasha –
    • this is the chidra-dasha, the cutting off period. (detailed post here)
    • this generally concludes a 18yr period of social etc. accomplishments. No new foundations for public recognition are laid now, it is a wrap-up.
    • As both Mars and Rahu are energetic and passionate there will be unexpected twists at the very end of Rahu Mahadasha.
    • The next Mahadasha belongs to Jupiter so the personality will now change from uncontrolled desires to contemplative philosophy.

interpreting rahu mahadashaEveryone who wants to learn astrology should analyse their own horoscope first. It is quite easy to predict major events and with practice you can predict minor events too. Get into the habit of pulling out your own chart for a detailed analysis every 6 months, take a couple of days over this in-depth analysis. Look at the Dasha periods and transits that will happen over the next 6 months, try to predict what may happen. Tally these predictions 6 months later. Evaluate for yourself how accurate you are getting with practice.

  • It would help if you do jaap of Rahu’s beej mantra regularly during his main-period. ‘Om bhrang bhreeng bhroung sah Rahave namah (once, thrice, 108 times as per your wish) Om’.
  • If you feel that Rahu is capable of giving malefic results, you can do charity of the things associated with him, food, colors, flowers or anything else.

Rahu’s period is quite long at 18yrs and his sub-periods in the other planet’s mahadashas will also carry his ‘flavour’. He works for 18yrs so there will be long periods of comparative inactivity interspersed with sudden bursts of quick actions. Lot of things occur in 18yrs, and Rahu grants them all, overall it is a good period for material gains, but always use your intelligence and sense of fair play during this period for lasting gains. And it is one half of your karmic push-pull axis. So be prepared for karma overdrive whenever his times come up in your life.

 

interpreting rahu mahadasha

Vaat dosha can lead to addictions

As per Ayurved, there are three types of tendencies/ Tridosh of the body called Vaat, Kapha and Pitta. As long as these are in equilibrium, the body and mind remains healthy. You fall ill when these go out of balance with each other. These are also ultimately linked to the horoscope and planetary positions.

Addictive behaviour is quite common, most of us are addicted to something or the other, maybe as innocuous as cup of coffee, or a beer in the evening, an occasional cigarette, or then perhaps a bottle of alcohol. Depending on your chart again, these addictions can potentially result in severe problems. Compulsive behaviour is linked to the Mercury (mental processes and thinking patterns), Venus (desire and validation) and Moon (needy emotional behaviour requiring comforting, cyclic behaviour). If these are adversely placed or under malefic influences, they can lead to self damaging addictions.addiction and ayurvedaOf the tri-dosh of Ayurved, Vaat dosh in this context is more important than Pitta or Kapha. ‘Impulsive cyclic behaviour’ is the domain of Vaat. Vaat is a Sanskrit word which means movement in every way, it also means wind, the vital energy /pran, movements of the mind/wishes and desires. The planets contributing to Vaat in the body and mind are Moon, Mercury, Venus and Saturn. The main 3 planets leading to addictive behaviour with the disciplinary constraints of Saturn. People are quite scared of Saturn, but we need to appreciate his discipline. Saturn grants ‘control’. If you observe people with a strong Saturn in their charts, they might come across as dour, not fun, boring to be with, etc but they seem to always be in control of their body and emotions. A Saturn dominant person rarely gets into addictions.

Now back to the body/mind, if the Vaat dosh is severely unbalanced, the mind will generate impulses to drink or to smoke or do drugs etc and the body will have to obey it. The intelligence loses is control over the impulses of the body/mind and starts moving down a slippery slope. Along with this, the symptoms of Vaat imbalance start manifesting, ‘nervous, fast, alone, rough, dry, light’ will be the descriptions of the body, mind, behaviour, emotions, e.g. from a loss in body weight to loneliness. If corrective actions to stabilise Vaat are not taken in this stage then it will deteriorate further and be more difficult to cure.

  • Vaat, if just out of balance, will result in restlessness, scattered and looping thoughts, anxiety, inability to concentrate, memory loss, dullness etc.
  • Moderately imbalanced Vaat will lead to sleeplessness, tremors and tics, nervousness; loss of appetite, loneliness, physical weakness, little or no desire to look presentable, wears shabby clothes, opinions of loved ones stop mattering, does not clean the room etc.
  • Seriously affected Vaat will cause chronic insomnia, problems in perception, apathy to self, loved ones and the surroundings, delusions, hallucinations, simultaneous deterioration of the physical body, there are no positive desires in the mind. This often happens at the the very end of the substance addictions. This is either an alcoholic in delirium tremens or schizophrenic, the root cause is the same, the wildly out of balance Vaat.

Of the three tendencies, the first to go out of balance is Vaat, the next to follow is Pitta. The ‘conversion power’ of the body/mind which creates ‘heat’ and vitality is Pitta. Thus you can see the typical irrational moods, violence, flushed skin, abnormal sweating, thirst, digestive disorders, etc of the typical addict. Finally the Kapha is pushed out of balance, thus the structure of the body/mind and the fluidity which keeps them functioning is damaged. At this stage regaining equilibrium can be next to impossible.

When one crosses the milder levels of addiction, it can be difficult to stop because the habit and its withdrawal both start giving the same problem. Also guilt comes in. The person is aware that something is wrong, but does not know that it is Vaat out of balance. He does initially try to ditch the habit, maybe behaviour changes, chemical medicines perhaps, but Vaat cannot be balanced by these. So he gets caught in the cycle of guilt, he feels that he has failed to control himself, which aggravates the addictive behaviour.

Vaat is all the tens of hundreds of cycles and rhythms of the body which need to be coordinated. This is Intelligent Energy. If Vata loses its rhythm, no chemical medicine can stabilise it, Ayurvedic principles have to be applied. Ayruvedic cures are based on the living energy/pran of the plant kingdom. Concentrated vital energy from plants/Vanaspati is refined with other materials and turned into a complete medicine/Oushad. Medicinal plants are very potent and specific in their action and work on the deepest levels. And then if some simple spiritual practice can be introduced at this stage it will give faster results.

Thus additions need to be recognised primarily as a Vaat disorder and appropriate measures need to be taken on the astrological and ayurvedic fronts to enable the sufferer to come out of this imbalance. There is nothing called as a disease, it is all a reflection of the imbalance of the internal energies, which can be intelligently rebalanced to give perfect health again.

 

addictions and astrology

Coconuts in energy work..

Coconut in sanskrit is called the “Shriphal”, the ‘fruit dear to Shri’. It has several uses in Sanatan Dharma/Hinduism. It is used in pujas, in black magic, as a blessing, to curse, as a store of energy, to remove negative energy, as offerings, as an energy sacrifice, to amplify intention etc. And of course the culinary uses, from making prasadams, to chutneys, to adding flavour to your prawns and fish curry! It has diverse medicinal uses too. The water from a tender green coconut is a very healthy electrolyte drink. And coconut oil is the tastiest, you can cook your food in it or apply it to your skin/hair. Such a wonderfully perfect all rounder fruit. The coconut.

coconut for energy work

Coconut have the ability to absorb energy. So you can charge a coconut with your intentions or energies from mantras and pujas. Such a coconut should be brown colored and have water inside, you can shake it to confirm, the water will slosh inside it. And should have a tuft of brown fibres at the point where it has its three ‘eyes’.

  1. If you do a puja or express an intention for something in the future, e.g birth of a child, then such a coconut is kept in the puja room/near your altar in your house, until the wish is fulfilled. After after which it can be is deposited in running water or the sea.
  2. If the intention is for something continuing, e.g. profits from your factory, it is kept at your puja ghar/altar in your office in the factory for ever.
  3. If the intention is for general welfare and happiness, often during a puja, then it is broken after the puja and its water and white is distributed as prasadam to all the members of the family.
  4. If the intention is for removal of negative energies from your aura then the coconut waved 3 times clockwise around your head, then taken outside the house, broken in one dash and put in running water/ sea/ under a tree somewhere.
  5. If the intention is for causing pain from someone, commonly known as “black magic” then you hold the coconut in your hands, think of the person with the negative intention energy, then simply dash it to the ground and break it. The broken pieces are either put in the running water/sea/under a tree. Or even worse given to him to eat. So beware of eating coconut pieces from random people even if it is offered in the guise of ‘prasadam’.
  6. But most commonly a coconut is used in temples, where devotees charge a coconut with their wish and dashed to pieces in front of the deity. Most temples have a specific area with a stone placed where devotees can dash and break their coconuts. This is very auspicious and if done with sufficient energy actually manifests the desire.

Puja of a kalash kumbh above is carried out during auspicious days where the Devi is worshipped. Most commonly during Durga puja/Navratri this set up is made and the energies of the Devi are invoked inside this. After the puja is complete the energies are ritually requested to leave the set-up too. The water from the pot/kalash is sprinkled around the house and the remaining put under a tree. And the coconut is then given to the priest/pujari who has performed it, along with the rest of the accessory stuff, he disposes of it in running water etc, depending on the pujas that has been performed.

kalash.jpg

Coconut is extraordinary because its liquid ‘coconut water’ is similar to the water inside your body’s cells. When you intend, every cell of your body participates in creating this intention. So in rather cryptic way, the energy of your thought resonates with the water inside your cells and also in the water of the coconut you hold in your hands. If you are required to keep it in your altar, it acts as an energy battery, an object of positive auspicious energies.

But sometimes you have to break open the coconut. The energy released and the water split has the power to amplify the intention and carry it to the Lok/ dimensions of creation (Bhuh, Bhuvah, Swah, Mahah, Janah, Tapah and Satyam. The energies of these dimensions are linked to the chakras with your energy body). Depending on the power of your intention, the breaking of the coconut can carry it to the highest possible energy levels and manifest your wish from the highest energy planes.

In the Hindu/Sanatan Dharm the last Sanskar is Anteyshti where the physical body is offered to the conscious energies of fire/ Agni. During this, as the body is consumed, the skull cracks open. The energy of the Anteyshti is released at this moment and it propels the soul to the energy dimension where it will reside till it is time for its next birth. The cracking of the coconut releases the same sort of energy, here it propels your intention up the energy dimensions.

Coconut is a very cryptic and very auspicious fruit which you can programme and use as a tool in your energy work in several ways.

 

 coconut in energy work(There was a question on disposal of coconuts which have been used in rituals, hope this post has been of use!)

Speeds of the planets and their results

A quick and fast post today.

By now you must know that the fastest moving graha is the Moon (2.25 days in one sign), then Mercury, Venus, Mars, (these three spend variable periods from 1- 6 months in a sign), then Jupiter (1yr per sign) followed by the Nodes Rahu/Ketu (1.5yrs per sign) and the slowest being Saturn (2.5yrs per sign).

Now take a look at your chart, note where the planets are placed and do a quick analysis of their karakatva (what each one of these represents in your life and its ability to give results), you can simply write down 5-7 keywords for each.

To get a general idea of karakatva, try and mix and match the keywords of

  1. planet itself (also look if it is combustretrograde, exalted, debilitated etc which will modify the results.)
  2. the house of the chart it is placed in, does it get any special ‘powers’ because of its placement?
  3. the sign of the zodiac that it is placed in, this can modify the results.
  4. the houses of the chart which it owns (if is the ascendant or dushamsthan, or the maraksthan or which trikon?)
  5. and if you are feeling confident, try to add the keywords of the planets aspecting and conjoint it (if any) (malefic, benefic, enemies, friends etc). (There are more things which will modulate the results but this much is enough for a start.)

for e.g., if your birth Moon is placed in the 3rd house with Jupiter, in Virgo, these will be the keywords perhaps.

  1. Moon = mother, emotions, security, comforts, sub-conscious, astral, liquids, youth
  2. 3rd house = courage, boldness, style of communication, how well you defend yourself or project yourself, siblings, trades you get into
  3. Virgo = service, sufferings, karma you choose to work through, mental analysis, mental strength, intelligence, organised, methodical
  4. Moon owns Cancer, here it will be the 1st house/ascendant = the entire personality, the environment, and how these two interact with each other.
  5. Jupiter = expansion, humanitarian, philosophic, likes teaching and learning too, helpful

Getting these together will be the first basic step in analysing how this Moon will function in the chart.pexels-photo-248547.jpegNow what I was writing about, the speed with which events flow in your life. To analyse your life, try to remember the past one year and try to correlate the speed with which events happened in your life. Maybe one aspect of your life was on high speed for a few months, then the focus shifted and something else gained speed, something stopped and some other thing went in reverse? Then pull out your software and look at which planets own which aspects of your life and second what was happening on the transits front?

A few examples to get you thinking,

If your Moon (the fastest one), is either the lord of the 10th house or placed in it in your birth chart. You might find yourself getting emotional in your profession. You might be required to perform under emotional pressures and in quick-moving situations. If there are malefic energies involved here you may find yourself in complex situations, where you made commitments without being ready, or get into trouble professionally for mixing business with emotions. The rate of change associated with your profession will be high. You might shift jobs, or travel more etc.

Moon also represents your mind-set so if you observe your emotional self, you change every 2.25days as the Moon transits one sign in 2.25days. Emotional context changes very fast, so is linked to the fasted graha, Moon.

If your Mercury is placed in the 11th house or its lord, you might find that your gains in life are from fast moving things. (He shifts signs every month or so, becomes combust so very often and retrograde; changes his apparent direction of movement three times a year, quite a happening planet if you think of it!) Maybe you gain from stocks, or through trade of fast moving goods, or you are a motivational speaker/writer who talks/writes a lot. A surgeon who does emergency or difficult surgeries. You might earn from different sources which keep on changing. You will be quite systematic about your money, savings and investments. There might seem to be blockages from time to time, where your gains seem to be stuck but the block clear up surprisingly quickly too.

So you might find the aspects of your life controlled by Mercury to be quite dynamic and quick changing. And Mercury also represents your intelligence and analytical power in general. You have to be quick thinking but not so ‘quick’ that you seem fickle minded. So Mercury, a little slower than the Moon, but still comparatively fast, is linked to your mental processes.speedNow the slower ones are your Jupiter, then Rahu/Ketu and the slowest is Saturn. So events linked to the karakatva of these planets will move rather slowly in your life. These planets get retrograde and combust too for months at a time, so their lessons have a lot of ‘revision’ inbuilt in them. They teach the deepest lessons linked to karma, deep wisdom and maturity thus naturally take their time over it.

The slowest Saturn takes a full 30yrs to complete one round of the zodiac. He is linked to ageing, karma, duty, responsibility, restriction, discipline etc, all of the really slow moving stuff. All these things are basically ‘maturity’, which takes time. So the slowest graha is about growing up and then growing old! So when you look into your chart you will see that Saturn’s speed is inextricably linked to the aspects of life he controls. For e.g. if he is placed in your 2nd house or is its owner, you might find events connected with your family to changing very slowly and wealth generation and accumulation to be slow and restricted.

Similarly for Rahu/Ketu and Jupiter. The houses/signs which they are linked to will be quite the slow moving aspects of your life.

Now the planets have several types of movements, written about it here. Mercury, Venus and Mars move through varying speeds and tend to get combust, retrograde etc quite frequently. So events in your life linked to these will be quite dynamic and visible. See if you can correlate what really happened to you in the past one year and these events from your chart. (This is another way of analysing transits)

Some aspects of life require to be on high speed and some aspects of life you savour better with age. Strangely this is also linked to astrology!speed

 

 

Vaat Kapha Pitta in Ayurved and Astrology

Ayurved is the knowledge of vitality, movement, vigour, divinity, life and living beings. Indians have used Ayurvedic principles to remain healthy in mind and spirit since time immemorial. The tri-dosh, Vaat, Kapha Pitta is a basic concept in Ayurved. ‘Dosh’ means defect, disorder, error, inconvenience, disease etc. If these Vaat, Kapha and Pitta remain in equilibrium, the body remains healthy. But generally these are out of balance because your chart and it’s planets interfere. Each planet is Vata, Kapha or Pitta by nature. So depending on their relative strengths in your chart, one of these dosh will dominate your body and mind.ayurved.jpgVaat

Vaat is ‘movement’ (Vaat means wind, wish etc). All the things that move in the body are intelligently managed by this energy ‘Vaat’. The movement of your thoughts to the movement of food within your intestines. Movement of blood, urine, hormones, muscles, impulses in the nerves, all that moves in the body. The movement of mind leads to emotions, creativity, speech etc. Vaat is responsible for movement of the vital energy/pran in the body. (So if you are doing Dhyan you have to be aware of how much Vaat inducing activities you are doing, this will adversely affect your Dhyan.)

If there is imbalance in Vaat, you will feel the effects first in the digestive system, nervous system, ears (equilibrium of the body is affected), especially the joints of the skeletal system and the skin (you may not realise it, but your skin moves the maximum). Planets contributing to the Vaat tendency are Saturn, Venus, Mercury and Moon. If these or their signs are strongly placed in your chart, they will unbalance the Vaat, Pitta Kapha equilibrium, to create a more ‘airy’ personality with the following keywords,

  1. Dry – dry skin and hair, constipation, rough gravelly voice, hiccups
  2. Light– thin body frame, light sleep, under weight, needs to rest more
  3. Cold– hates cold and loves warm, stiffness in muscles and joints
  4. Rough– cracked heels, brittle nails, uneven teeth
  5. Nervous– easily excited, imaginative, anxious, muscle tremors, delicate health, less children
  6. Fast– alert, speech, gait, restless, mood swings, travels, too many thoughts in mind, active, cannot save money.
  7. Alone– experiences loneliness, doesn’t have faith in a higher intelligence.

If these keywords have resonated with you then here are some simple tips which you can incorporate in your daily life.

  • Warmth – dress warmly, spicy, hot, slightly oily food (no cold foods)
  • Keep calm – massages, spa, saunas, stick to a comfortable routine, do not travel too much. Spend some quiet and quality time with your close family and loved ones.
  • Rest – You require more sleep, so aim for 8+ hrs. Try to keep away from loud sounds, bright lights, addictions and over-stimulation.

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Now Pitta is the ‘conversion process’. (Pitta means bile.) Everything that the mind/body ‘converts’ and makes ‘suitable for itself’ is through the energy of Pitta. So this covers the process of digestion and all the enzymes in the body are ‘converters’. Then on the mental level the process of converting sensory inputs to intelligence, then the ‘thinking process’ converts the ideas to understanding. This ‘conversion process’ also creates ‘heat’, so makes one sparkle with health, vitality, intelligence and wisdom. The planets contributing to the pitta in your life would be Sun, Mars and Mercury. If these are strong, or their signs are strongly placed in your chart you might be a pitta dominant personality.

So for our pitta personality our keywords would be related to ‘fire’,

  1. Hot– good digestive system, strong appetite, higher than average body temperature, dislikes more heat or bright light, receding hairline or baldness
  2. Sharp– sharp and bright features and face, sharp memory and understanding, probing mind,
  3. Oily– oily soft skin and hair, deep-fried food causes headaches
  4. Fluid– tendency to loose motions, excessive sweating, needs to drink lots of water, rashes on skin, hot skin, desires name and fame
  5. Reds /Yellows– tends to have flushed skin, often overproduction of bile
  6. Fire– acidity, excess salivation, bitter taste, nausea, burning sensations, cynical by nature, strong feelings of anger/ hate.
  7. Intelligence – excellent abilities for learning, understanding and concentrating, highly disciplined, make large amounts of money, spends on luxurious items.

To keep your ‘hot’ planets and signs ‘cool’, here are a few tips.

  • Cooling – Eat non-spicy, non-salty, non-oily foods especially in summer. Avoid going out in the summer sun. Aggression will aggravate pitta, so if you see a discussion turning into an argument use your intelligence and defuse the situation in a healthier manner.
  • Exercise in moderation and during the coolest part of the day and opt for the swimming pool. Your temper runs short, so try some some calming breathing exercises too.

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Kapha

Kapha is ‘fluidity which creates structure’. It is simultaneously ‘earthy’ and ‘watery’. All the cells, tissues and organs of the body and the ‘fluidity’ which links them together is Kapha. Lubrication of joints and organs, strong muscles and bones, cellular secretions, and memory retention. Planets with kapha tendency are Moon, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus. If these and their signs are strongly placed in your chart your mind/body may lean towards imbalance in the kapha.

  1. Heavy, slow and steady – movement, appetite, thirst, metabolism and digestion. A large body frame, possibly overweight but compact. A lubricated smooth movement of the joints. A heavy deep but sweet voice. Likes sitting and sleeping, can get lazy. A sense of density, ‘thickness’. Mind is contemplative, peaceful, slow to react. Often slow to start, is dull in the mornings. Has good knowledge, memory and also a strong constitution.
  2. Fluids – cold and congestion, clammy skin, water retention, over-production of saliva and mucus. Oily skin and hair. Diseases related to the ‘water’, sinus, sluggishness, excess weight, diabetes, water retention, headaches, especially on full moon days and when the weather is overcast and gloomy.
  3. Smooth and soft – skin, calm nature, gentle mind, pleasing look, compassionate, caring, kind, sometimes gullible.
  4. Cohesive – Firm body, joints, muscles. Likes physical contact, hugging cuddling. Mind is deeply attached in love and relationships. Saves money. Has a deep faith in the higher intelligence. Can get greedy and emotionally needy if unbalanced.
  5. Sweet and salty – is quite sensual in nature, craves sweet and salty food but digestion being slow puts on weight which is then difficult to shed as dislikes vigorous exercise.

Here are some small things which will help you balance your kapha tendencies.

  • Move – Exercise, walk, be a bit more active, read new things, learn new things. Vary your routine, do something exciting at least one day a week, e.g. go to a museum, go for a day-tour, visit your family/friends, go for a movie. Move!
  • Diet – Eat warm, light, moderately spicy, easy to digest foods. Avoid heavy, fatty and overly sugary-salty foods. Reduce the intake of milk/milk products and avoid cold drinks/food.
  • Sleep – Try to reduce your sleep time, stick to 8hrs no more, and no daytime naps!

So this was a very basic and simple to understand/ use post on Ayurved. If you are getting a bit interested in astrology by now and know how to read your chart, then you can also try balancing the planetary energies with the activitiesfragrances, colors and tastes associated with them. This will balance the subtle energies which are the seeds of Vaat, Pitta and Kapha and thus help you be healthier from the deepest levels. And finally, a regular spiritual practice, even for 5 mins a day, will go a long way in keeping you happy and healthy!aurved

 

 

Yadnopavit sutra, ‘Sacred thread’

As per Sanatan Dharm, young boys at the age of 6 yrs are initiated into the Gayatri Mantra and its jaap. The boy is taught the mantra in the Yadnopavit Sanskar and he then wears the ‘sacred thread’/ Yadnopavit sutra. Girls are not required to wear the sutra, but are taught the Mantra on their 6th birthday and are required to do do its Jaap. Gayatri mantra is the right of every human being and is the foundation of spiritual practice.

Gayatri is the Guru-mantra, it pulls you towards your Reality.

Om, Bhuh Bhuvah Swah, Om Tat Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, Dheeyo Yo nah Prachodayat, Om.

ॐ भूः भुवः स्वः । ॐ तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यम । भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि। धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात॥ ॐ

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Now this sutra is not a ‘thread’! It is made with specific mantras and intentions. Calling it a ‘thread’, is like calling a nuclear warhead a firecracker. It is that potent!

Making it is quite typical. First using raw cotton, a thin strand of thread is made by hand, (everyone is supposed to make it for himself but initially the older men in the house help out the younger boys). The length of the thread is 96 times the breadth of four fingers so is equal to the height of the man making it. The Gayatri mantra has 24 Akshar and there are 4 states of existence, so 24X4 = 96. Also 96 represents the units of time, specific mantras are recited while making it. The four fingers represent the four states of existence, Jagruti/ awake, Swapna/ dreams,  Sushupti/ deep sleep and Turiya/ the realisation of the Ultimate. 

The thin handmade thread is wrapped 9 times, and the energies of Om, Vishvadev, Agni, Vayu, Naag, Soma, Pitr, Prajapati and Yam are installed in each of these strands. More mantras. (Then there is the Gayatri Gita for more information.)

Then these 9 strands are twisted so that they are converted to 3 thicker strands each tied with one small typical knot. (After marriage the strands increase, become 6 because now he is responsible for his wife also.)

  • These 3 strands represent the Rg-ved/ Yajur-ved/ Sam-ved. Their knowledge is required on the way to the Moksh.
  • The 3 stages of the Gayatri mantra itself. 1st stage is ‘tat savitur varenyam’, 2nd is ‘bhargo devasya dheemahi’ and the last is ‘dheeyo yo naha prachodayat’.
  • The 3 debts that one owes in life, to the parents, the society and the Guru. Unless you resolve them you cannot reach the realisation. You repay the debt to the ancestors/parents when you have children of your own and you give them good values. The debt to the society is also repaid when your children become good citizens and you do charity etc and contribute in maintaining the society. And debt to the Guru is paid when you practice what you have learnt from him.
  • Then the 3 tyes of gun/attributes (satva, raja and tama). Satva pulls you towards reality, raja pulls you towards the objects of the manifested universe, and tamas is still unmoving energies which are most often directed towards negative thought patterns and then become discordant. One has to cross these to reach the Ultimate, which is Nirgun/without attributes.
  • The 3 naadis, Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. The movement of pran in these three need to be controlled by conscious effort before you can progress.
  • The 3 knots are the 3 granthis of the Brahmanadi, which have to be unlocked so that the Kundalini can reach the top of the head.
  • The three ashram/stages of life. Brahmacharya/childhood, Gruhastashram/active life and Vanaprasthashram/retired life. The responsibilities associated with these 3 have to be completed. The real sense of the fourth stage/ashram, Sanyashram/ renunciation, is gained only with Moksh.

Now these 3 strands are knotted together in a very typical, difficult to make, knot called the Brahmagranthi. This knot represents OM the absolute.

This is now the Yadnopavit sutra or Brahma-sutra.

When it is worn normally, it is on the left shoulder and across the body. It will hang down till the top of the right thigh. It is a physical reminder that all these things, these are burdens which have to be carried and that the goal of life is realisation of OM. And then on the energy levels it is totally awesome. I saw it when I and my husband performed the Yadnopavit sanskar for our son. The sutra balances all the lower chakras perfectly, from the Muladhar to the Vishuddhi, as it encircles them. My son who till then had refused to wear even a gold chain in his neck, happily wore the sutra without any fuss. Its energy is just so awesome and it stabilises the energy of the person wearing it. So when the boy does his personal practice, he just has to work on his Ajnya chakra. It is a very big boost. The sutra ‘holds’ the practice. The sutra and the Gayatri mantra sadhana (for boys) are practically one unit.

There are a few rules about wearing and changing it periodically but they are all very simple. So wearing it should not be a problem!

Now am sure that you must be wondering why just boys? Why don’t women wear the yadnopavit sutra? The simplest answer is that they dont need to. There is one very big advantage that women have. They do not have a Y chromosome. Science has also acknowledged that men are more delicate than women, the survivorship ratios of male/female at different age groups prove this. Men need to actively protect themselves and keep themselves healthy at all levels, so Gayatri sadhana wearing the Yadnopavit sutra is compulsory for all men.

Our ancients knew of the inherent weakness of the  Y-chromosome so had several ways to actively protect it, by ensuring that marriages are conducted according to astrological principles and according to the family dynasty/’Gotra’, by ensuring that the males perform the anteyshti/tarpan rituals of the departed etc. For women the challenge comes with menopause. If women can consciously transition when at menopause, they will realise how easy spirituality is for them. Till then even a simple basic 27 /54 /108 times jaap of Gayatri is enough to sustain them.

And this is the link to the most complete form of Gayatri, the Ghanapath and the full form of the Mantra. Do listen and enjoy it’s power.

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